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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Gingerboy Restaurant

27-29 Crossley Street
Melbourne 3000

Down the alleyway beside Pelligrini's - right next door to Becco (my favourite restaurant) -stands the Asian black laquered disco that is the restaurant Gingerboy.

I'd heard so much about it. "It's a smash, it's a tidal wave, it's the biggest thing on Broadway!" (or was that in the Producers?). Whatever, like Max Bialystock I found myself (inwardly) shouting at home after the meal "You lousy fruit, you've ruined me!".

My review may also be jaded by having gone immediately beforehand to the best bar I've been to in about two years (see Seamstress Review this blog). Still, Gingerboy was groovy (especially their font use, and web site) and specialises in "hawker style food" - South East Asian food with a twist.

The decor is based very much on the busy trattoria style. We were are crammed in together with the other customers (a full restaurant, alweays a good sign) and there was a definite buzz in the room. The walls and roof are decorated with black bamboo intersperesed with fairy ights and the decor is, as suggested above, an oppulent Asian disco. Meanwhile, the staff are trendy and friendly; the two "y" words you'd prefer in waiting staff (as opposed to filthy, bitchy or stuffy).

The food is delivered as a shared dish experience, and we started with a few entries and moved on to only a couple of mains. I made a point of ordering the much vaunted "Son In Law eggs" a whole egg cooked in coconut milk (or something), and served with chili jam. I understand it's their signature dish and we were encouraged to pop the whole eggs into our mouths to enjoy "the taste explosion". But, quel horreur! Our female companions baulked at this, and when the waiting staff saw that the yolks weren't runny, they ran (unsolicited) and fetched us complementary replacements and removed the charge from the bill. But still, after eating two hard boiled eggs in one meal, I was slightly over egged by the finish and could taste them at 3 o'clock in the morning.

The oysters were nice, but I wouldn't bother with double orders on them, and the salt and pepper chicken spare ribs were a definite winner. For mains we enjoyed the red duck curry and caramelised ox cheeks, attended by more of the chili jam.

An honest and groovy affair, we escaped drinking two bottles of wine and dinner for four for under $100 per head. Still, it left me little jaded and certainly groaning with food and rich food indigestion. I rate it six tentacles out of eight!

I'd highly recommend that you check out their website. It won last year's Age Good Food Guide restaurant website of the year, which was plainly created by the same studio that knocked up ezards website (I suspect the people behind Gingerboy are the same as those who are responsible for ezards as well, but this has a new theme). Anyway, the address is: